There are plenty of bad people in the world, though most of the bad people I know are people I worked for in business.
Bad people seem to be attracted to power, hence the high percentage of bad bosses and bad politicians. I’ve known other people who were just plain bad (inferior, defective, evil, incompetent, unpleasant, unwelcome, harmful– you get the idea) but I didn’t work for them.
I’m sure that God hears plenty of prayers from good people about bad people. Like, “God, tell me why good things happen to bad people.” It just seems that that’s the way it is. I doubt if anyone is keeping score. Except God.
In a similar vein, many people think that bad things happen to good people. Harold Kushner made money telling people about why and when it happens. It’s more of an observation than a scientific analysis of what happens to whom, hence there’s no scoreboard which lists good and bad people and the good and bad things that happen to them.
Likewise, there’s no apparent correlation between smart people and bad ideas, though dumb people often have bad ideas, too. Everyone has bad ideas.
Bad people even come from good people and good families. Power and greed seem to be the corrupting influences even when a family is good.
Bad thinking doesn’t come from bad people, either. Everyone gets a shot at screwing up their own thinking processes. There is even a web site called Bad Thinking. The author states that “human culture is a collection of bad ideas, ignorant nonsense, and failed explanations.”
It’s hard to argue with that.
Putting it to the test is easy. Let’s see… Democrats are about going to war, raising taxes, deficit spending. Republicans are about isolationism, smaller government, and balanced budgets.
So, by the definition of such ‘bad thinking’ it was a bad idea that Republicans were elected to run the country in 2000 and again in 2004 because their historical stereotype was ignorant nonsense, and the damage they caused since is full of failed explanations, right?
What happens when bad people are punished? Elisabeth Rosenthal reports that “When Bad People Are Punished, Men Smile (but Women Don’t).
That fully explains why my father would grin while beating me with a switch after some childhood infraction, but my mother would form the Look of Near Death while doling out her punishment of the day. Men are natural avengers, and better at being bad than women.
It all makes sense to me.